Virtual Kollage: Parental responsibility, the example of Eli the priest

Posted by / Tuesday, 26 January 2016 / No comments

Parental responsibility, the example of Eli the priest

Silhouette Father And Son Sundown Chat Adv
(1 Samuel 2:11-36, 3:2-18, 4:10-22)

Eli was the Priest at Shiloh. He had two sons called Hophni and Phinehas. When Eli became old, he appointed these sons to serve as Priests in his stead.

Hophni and Phinehas did not walk in the ways of their father. They were worthless and did not have regard for the Lord. For example, when the people of Israel offer sacrifices to the Lord, the sons of Eli would send their servants with three-pronged forks to take meat from the boiling pot. They dipped the fork in the pot and any part of the meat that was brought was sent to them.

Sometimes, before the meat was burnt, the sons of Eli would demand raw meat. When they were told to wait for the fat to be burnt as a tribute to God, they would threaten to take it by force.

The sons of Eli also slept with the women who served in the Temple. In fact, the sins of Eli’s sons were great in the site of the Lord.

When Eli heard the sins of his children and how they slept with the women in the Temple, he indicated to them how unhappy he was about their actions. He rebuked them. He told them, for example, that if a man sins against man, God can intercede for him but if a man sins against God, nobody can intercede for him. The sons of Eli did not listen to their father.

A man of God came to tell Eli the things that God had revealed he was going to do. But it did not change anything. For example, the man of God said, God would cut off the strength of Eli’s house and that there would be no elder in Eli’s house.

Elkana and Hannah had brought their son, Samuel to serve God at Shiloh under Eli, in fulfillment of a promise they had made to God. Samuel was, therefore, ministering to the Lord under Eli. One day, God revealed to Samuel what he was about to do in Israel. God said anybody whose two ears shall hear the matter shall tingle.

God declared that he was going to punish the house of Eli because the latter did not restrain his sons when they were misbehaving.

In a battle with the Philistines, Israel was routed and the army fled. Four thousand Israelite foot soldiers died. The two sons of Eli, Hophni and Phinehas were killed. The Philistines captured the Ark of God. When Eli heard that his two sons had died and the Ark of the Lord had been captured, he tumbled backward from his chair, broke his neck and died. He was 98 years old.

The wife of Phinehas, was pregnant at the time. When she heard that the Ark God had been captured, his father-in-law, Eli and her husband had died, she went into premature labour and delivered a baby. She died after a safe delivery but before she died, she named the child Ichabod, meaning the glory of God had departed from Israel.

1. Parents should have time to teach their children the word of God.
2. It is important that a family pray together.
3. Parents should teach their children the fear of the Lord in everything they do.
4. It is important to heed the warnings of men of God.
5. One must point out to children the consequences of boy-girl relationships.
6. Any disobedient act toward God has its evil repercussions.

1. Providing children’s material needs, like food, clothing, and shelter.
2. Satisfying their emotional and psychological needs, like exhibiting love to them.
3. Ensuring that they are well educated according to their ability.
4. Ensuring that they are provided with adequate healthcare. Where there is not enough money, making sure they are enrolled with the National Health Insurance Scheme.
5. Give the children a good moral and religious education.
6. Ensuring that the child grows with good moral values.
7. Preventing the child from committing sin.

1. The children become truants, skipping school, etc.
2. The children end up in the streets.
3. They drop out of school at an early age.
4. Some may become drug addicts.
5. The girls become pregnant in their teens making the boys become pre-matured fathers.

1. a. To what extent was the moral weakness of Eli’s children due to their father’s lack of parental responsibility?
    b. How did God react to this lapse?
2. a. Explain how Eli failed as a parent?
    b. In what six ways did Israel suffer as a result of Eli’s parental irresponsibility?
    c. State three lessons that can be derived from the attitude of Eli?

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